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August 26, 2016 / 22 Av, 5776
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Tu b’Av Love and the Power of “Shema”
 
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Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
 

Posted on: September 25th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Could we understand the history of Israel without its prehistory, the stories of Abraham and Sarah and their children?

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Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
 

Posted on: September 4th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

It was Moses who mediated with God.

Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
 

Posted on: August 29th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

The Torah scroll is the nearest Judaism comes to endowing a physical entity with sanctity.

Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
 

Posted on: August 22nd, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

The ancients saw the gods in nature, never more so than in thinking about the harvest and all that accompanied it.

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Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
 

Posted on: August 15th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers -- how is that compatible with the idea that children may suffer for the sins of their parents?

Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
 

Posted on: August 7th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

On the face of it, the test is simple: if what the prophet predicts comes to pass, he is a true prophet; if not, not. Clearly, though, it was not that simple.

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Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
 

Posted on: August 1st, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

These stories all have to do with the mitzvah of tzedakah whose source is in this week’s parshah.

The Prince of Wales with Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
 

Posted on: July 25th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

One of the more unusual aspects of being a chief rabbi is that one comes to know people one otherwise might not.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
 

Posted on: July 18th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

The biblical covenant has the same literary structure as ancient near eastern political treaties.

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Portia and Shylock
 

Posted on: July 11th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Shakespeare is expressing the medieval stereotype of Christian mercy (Portia) as against Jewish justice (Shylock).

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-korach-
 

Posted on: June 6th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

For the first and only time, Moses invokes a miracle to prove the authenticity of his mission

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Posted on: May 29th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

This week’s sedrah, Shelach Lecha, ends with one of the great commands of Judaism – tzitzit, the fringes we wear on the corner of our garments as a perennial reminder of our identity as Jews and our obligation to keep the Torah’s commands.

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Posted on: May 22nd, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Tanach, the Hebrew Bible, is remarkable for the extreme realism with which it portrays human character. Its heroes are not superhuman. Its non-heroes are not archetypal villains. The best have failings; the worst often have saving virtues. I know of no other religious literature quite like it.

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Posted on: May 8th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

On the face of it, the connections between the sedrah and haftarah of Bamidbar are slender. The first has to do with demography. Bamidbar begins with a census of the people. The haftarah begins with Hosea’s vision of a time when “the number of the children of Israel will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or numbered.” There was a time when the Israelites could be counted; the day will come when they will be countless. That is one contrast between the future and the past.

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Posted on: April 24th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

In its account of the festivals of the Jewish year, this week’s parshah, Parshat Emor, contains the following statement: “You shall dwell in thatched huts for seven days. Everyone included in Israel must live in such thatched huts. This is so that future generations will know that I caused the Israelites to live in sukkot when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your G-d.”

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Posted on: April 17th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

At the center of the mosaic books is Vayikra. At the center of Vayikra is the “holiness code” (chapter 19) with its momentous call: “You shall be holy because I, the Lord your G-d, am holy.” And at the centre of chapter 19 is a brief paragraph which, by its positioning, is the apex, the high point, of the Torah:

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Posted on: March 20th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Judaism is less a philosophical system than a field of tensions – between universalism and particularism, for example, or exile and redemption, priests and prophets, cyclical and linear time, and so on.

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Posted on: March 6th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

A long drama had taken place. Moses had led the people from slavery to the beginning of the road to freedom. The people themselves had witnessed G-d at Mount Sinai, the only time in all history when an entire people became the recipients of revelation. Then came the disappearance of Moses for his long sojourn at the top of the mountain, an absence which led to the Israelites’ greatest collective sin, the making of the Golden Calf. Moses returned to the mountain to plead for forgiveness, which was granted.

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Posted on: February 27th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Framing the epic events of this week’s sedrah are two objects: the two sets of tablets – the first given before, and the second after, the sin of the Golden Calf. Of the first, we read: “The tablets were the work of G-d; the writing was the writing of G-d, engraved on the tablets.”

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Posted on: February 13th, 2013

JudaismColumnsRabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

As soon as we read the opening lines of Terumah we begin the massive shift from the intense drama of the exodus with its signs and wonders and epic events, to the long, detailed narrative of how the Israelites constructed the Mishkan.

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